Glenn I. Wright, weeping and apologizing for the kidnaping last summer of the wife of a wealthy businessman from a Washington hotel, was sentenced in U.S. District Court here yesterday to three consecutive life prison terms.
The sentence, imposed by Judge Oliver Gasch, followed an emotional, 18-minute statement by Wright in which the 42-year-old Houston man also expressed guilt for implicating his codefendant in the crime.
Gasch sentenced the codefendant, Dennis Moss, 27, also of Houston, to a similar term on Thursday.
The kidnaping victim, Edith Rosenkranz, who was attending a bridge tournament at the Sheraton Washington with her husband when she was abducted last July, was freed after 48 hours. A $1 million ransom was recovered by the FBI.
In addition to the life term, Wright was sentenced to 106 years imprisonment on other charges connected with the kidnaping. He will be eligible for parole consideration in 10 years, according to prosecutors.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Harkins Jr. expressed doubt that Wright would be paroled then. "We're all eligible to run for president of the United States, too," he said outside the courtroom.
Gasch said Wright, whose insanity defense during his trial in December was rejected by the jury, would be incarcerated in a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo.
Wright criticized the U.S. attorney's office, the medical staff at St. Elizabeths mental hospital and his trial lawyer yesterday, claiming that he had been denied a fair trial and calling the jury's verdict "unjust."
But Gasch noted that Wright had taken the witness stand to give his own version of the kidnaping, against the advice of his attorney. "I might say that his testimony was a very accurate summation of the government's evidence," said Gasch.
Wright also lashed out at the defense raised by his codefendant, Moss, who claimed he took part in the kidnaping because he feared Wright might kill him. "No matter what I've done," said Wright, sobbing, "I'm certainly incapable of being a murderer."
Prosecutors maintained at trial that Wright planned the kidnaping because he was troubled by unhappy homosexual love affairs and the imminent failure of his business in Houston.